Tales of Central Whangārei

The latest book in the True Tales series telling the living and past stories of Whangārei has been published. 'True Tales of Central Whangārei' has been complied by Don Armitage who has been involved in putting together or inspiring several other books in the series. In keeping with the tried and true format, the book contains historic and contemporary written and photographic takes on the development of the community and individuals who live there. It is available to buy at local book stores and information centres.

Race Relations event

An event to mark Race Relations Day is being held in Whangārei next week. The international day, observed on March 21, is being marked with a free public event next Thursday featuring three speakers - Maualaivao Ueli Sasagi, Ray Nairn, and Nicki Wakefield. Wakefield was the claimant coordinator of the Whangārei Taiwhenua during the Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry into historical breaches of Te Tiriti within Ngāpuhi; Nairn set up Kupu Taea, a group that has monitored news media for cultural bias for several years; and Maualaivao Ueli Sasagi is a Samoan high chief and principal planner with the Kaipara District Council. The event will be held at Forum North from 7pm to 9pm.

Bail denied by Kaitaia court

A man jointly accused of a violent home invasion in Panguru in February has been denied bail. Gilbert Walter Morunga, 45, from Otahuhu, was jointly charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and committing burglary. He made a plead of not guilty. At the Kaitaia District Court on Thursday, Morunga, who appeared by video link, was denied bail. He was remanded in custody by Judge Deidre Orchard to reappear on May 2 for a case review hearing. His co-accused, Pesi Saga and Piringa Tawhai, were previously granted bail. Judge Orchard said the victim, who was an amputee, suffered fractures, lacerations and a collapsed lung from the February 16 incident. He needed treatment in Whangārei Hospital's intensive care unit.

Gumboots for a cause

Gumboots are usually reserved for wet and muddy grounds, but next month they will be worn to raise money to help provide free counselling to any kid in need. For many, having depression is like walking through mud every day so on Friday, April 5, people around the country are being called on to wear gumboots to work or school and donate money through I Am Hope - the youth arm of comedian and mental health campaigner Mike King's Key to Life Trust. All proceeds will go towards providing children free and timely counselling. In Whangārei, locals are also invited to go a step further and walk the Hātea Loop wearing gumboots. The walk will start at Canopy Bridge at 6pm. For more information on Gumboot Friday, including how to donate, visit www.iamhope.org.nz/gumbootfriday